Deconstructing Food Labels

Food labels can be confusing and deceptive. The food industry has found many ways to hide information from the consumer by making some letters, numbers, words, and phrases, stand out on the label more than others. But as you may have learned from the “how to read a food label” section you should never trust a food label, regardless of the claims on the labels. Remember these companies are trying to sell you a product you can feel good about. Not all business are trying to sell you health promoting products. Therefore this is meant to teach you what to look for on labels while also providing you with examples of how these labels are meant to confuse and deceive you. However, having knowledge is not enough, what you do with it and how you use it in our daily life matters most.

Eating You Alive – Zeno L. Charles-Marcel, M.D.

The food labels listed to the right were chosen to provide you with examples of food label deception. These labels show a variety of calculations that are not meant to confuse you, but inform you. A few of these labels are broken down in multiple ways to educate you on what to look for and what to avoid when shopping. These labels are also meant to teach you how to determine the amount of total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, carbohydrate, sugar, fiber, and sodium found in these foods. This information is meant to get you used to examining food labels, so that when you get to the grocery store you can make better, more informed, educated decisions on how to purchase heart healthy products. When food labels were examined for this section vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fats did not receive special attention. Eating a whole foods plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, lentils, and limited amounts of nuts and seeds provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated fats.

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